Texas defies Supreme Court over southern border crisis, and Gov. Cox supports the rebellion

Utah Sen. Mitt Romney blasts former President Donald Trump for ‘really appalling’ efforts to use the border crisis for political gain.

(Eric Gay | AP) Migrants who crossed into the U.S. from Mexico are met with concertina wire along the Rio Grande, Sept. 21, 2023, in Eagle Pass, Texas. Utah Gov. Spencer Cox has endorsed Texas's effort to ignore the Supreme Court over the southern border crisis.

The fight over the crisis at the southern border has drawn the attention of Utah Gov. Spencer Cox, who voiced support Thursday for fellow-Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s move to defy the Supreme Court and supplant federal authority at the southern border. At the same time, Sen. Mitt Romney slammed former President Donald Trump and his allies in Congress for refusing to address border security to turn it into a political issue in November’s election.

Earlier this month, the Texas National Guard seized control of the border crossing at Shelby Park in Eagle Pass, denying access to Border Patrol agents. Texas also installed razor wire barriers at border crossings to deter migrants from crossing into the state. On Monday, the Supreme Court sided with the Biden administration, which asked the court to order Texas to remove the barriers. In response, Abbott ordered the National Guard to deploy more wire barriers.

On Wednesday, Abbott issued a statement claiming the federal government has “broken the compact between the United States and the States.”

“I have already declared an invasion under Article I, $ 10, Clause 3 to invoke Texas’s constitutional authority to defend and protect itself. That authority is the supreme law of the land and supersedes any federal statutes to the contrary,” Abbott wrote in a statement posted to social media.

On Thursday morning, Cox reposted Abbott’s declaration and endorsement of the Texan’s decision.

“The border is a disaster that continues to spiral out of control, both in terms of people and deadly fentanyl traffic,” Cox wrote on his official X account.

“This is not a partisan issue. This is a national security issue. This is an American issue,” Cox wrote. “Utah thanks Texas and Gov. Abbott for stepping up where the Biden Administration has failed over and over again.”

On Thursday afternoon, Cox joined with 24 other Republican governors in a statement from the Republican Governor’s Association supporting Abbott’s vigilante efforts outside of federal authority.

“We stand in solidarity with our fellow Governor, Greg Abbott, and the State of Texas in utilizing every tool and strategy, including razor wire fences, to secure the border,” the statement read in part. “The authors of the U.S. Constitution made clear that in times like this, states have a right of self-defense, under Article 4, Section 4 and Article 1, Section 10, Clause 3 of the U.S. Constitution. Because the Biden Administration has abdicated its constitutional compact duties to the states, Texas has every legal justification to protect the sovereignty of our states and our nation.”

Cox’s office did not immediately respond to questions from The Salt Lake Tribune about whether he supports Abbott’s defiance of a Supreme Court order or believes individual governors have the authority to unilaterally reject federal authority during a perceived crisis.

University of Texas law professor Steve I. Vladeck says Abbott’s declaration that Texas can supplant federal authority is wrong because the Constitution prohibits such action without the consent of Congress.

Romney rips Trump for playing politics with the border

For weeks, it appeared that the U.S. House and Senate were moving toward a bipartisan deal to address the border crisis, but reportedly Donald Trump has urged allies in Congress to scuttle any agreement because he allegedly wants to use the issue as a weapon against President Joe Biden in November’s election.

On Thursday morning, Utah Sen. Mitt Romney ripped Trump’s meddling.

“I think the border is a very important issue for Donald Trump,” Romney said, according to CNN. “And the fact that he would communicate to Republican senators and congresspeople that he doesn’t want us to solve the border problem because he wants to blame Biden for it is really appalling.”

Earlier this week, Punchbowl News reported Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told Senate Republicans that an agreement on border security was in jeopardy because of Trump’s desire to campaign on the issue.

Romney blasted Trump and his allies for ignoring the problem to gain a political advantage.

“The reality is that we have a crisis at the border. The American people are suffering as a result of what’s happening at the border, and someone running for president ought to try to get the problem solved as opposed to saying, ‘Hey, save that problem. Don’t solve it. Let me take credit for solving it later,’” Romney said.